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Ajax v Paris background

AFC Ajax kick off Group F looking to improve on recent early exits, but have a tough opening test at home against last season's quarter-finalists Paris Saint-Germain.

Paris have never played in the Netherlands before but Ajax old boy Zlatan Ibrahimović certainly has
Paris have never played in the Netherlands before but Ajax old boy Zlatan Ibrahimović certainly has ©AFP/Getty Images

Four-time European Cup winners AFC Ajax open their Group F campaign against ambitious Paris Saint-Germain.

Match background

• The Dutch champions will be looking to survive the group stage for the first time since 2005/06. In each of the last four seasons, they have finished third in their group.

• At home in the UEFA Champions League last term, Frank de Boer's men held AC Milan (1-1) and beat Celtic FC (1-0) and FC Barcelona (2-1). They then lost 3-0 to FC Salzburg in Amsterdam en route to a 6-1 aggregate loss in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• Ajax's home record against French sides is W6 D2 L2.

• This season marks the 20th anniversary of Ajax's last UEFA Champions League triumph.

• This is the first visit to the Netherlands for Paris, whose only previous encounter with Eredivisie opposition was a 4-0 home win over FC Twente in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage.

• The French title holders kicked off last season with an emphatic away victory – 4-1 at Olympiacos FC – and ended up winning three of their five matches on the road, scoring 14 times away from home in total.

• Paris reached the quarter-finals for the second successive season in 2013/14, losing to Chelsea FC on away goals.

Player links
• De Boer and visiting coach Laurent Blanc captained their respective countries in France's 2-1 home friendly success against the Netherlands in February 1997. The pair also faced each other in a 1995 friendly in the Netherlands, which France won 1-0.

• De Boer scored in a 3-2 Dutch victory over France in Amsterdam at UEFA EURO 2000. Blanc did not play in that group match but helped France win the tournament.

• De Boer hit his first goal in UEFA club competition against AJ Auxerre in a 1-0 home win in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup quarter-finals. Ajax still lost 4-3 on aggregate, but De Boer's record against French clubs in his playing career was good: W4 D0 L1.

• As a player, Blanc helped Montpellier Hérault SC beat PSV Eindhoven in the 1990/91 European Cup Winners' Cup first round, and later beat Vitesse with FC Internazionale Milano in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup second round.

• Zlatan Ibrahimović made 74 league appearances for Ajax (2001–04), scoring 35 goals. This is the third time that he has returned to face his old club. The first time came on 15 September 2004 in a 1-1 group stage draw with Juventus. He later scored AC Milan's equaliser in a 1-1 draw in the 2010/11 group stage.

• Gregory van der Wiel (2006–12) and Maxwell (2001–05) are also former Ajax players, the former playing under De Boer for a season and a half.

• Ezequiel Lavezzi was in the Argentina side that beat Jasper Cillessen's Netherlands on penalties in the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in Brazil.

• Blaise Matuidi scored past Cillessen in France's 2-0 friendly success against the Dutch in March this year. Davy Klaassen made his Oranje debut that night.

• Kolbeinn Sigthórsson scored for Iceland in a 3-2 friendly loss to a France side coached by Blanc and featuring Yohan Cabaye in May 2012.

Match facts


• Ajax started the season with two league wins before losing 3-1 at home to PSV Eindhoven on 24 August, their first defeat in 25 Eredivisie matches dating back to last November.

• Arkadiusz Milik scored his first two goals for Ajax on Saturday in a 2-1 home victory over Heracles Almelo.

• Viktor Fischer has been out with a hamstring injury since 23 February.

• Jasper Cillessen and Joël Veltman featured in both games as the Netherlands, who finished third at the FIFA World Cup, lost 2-0 to Italy in a friendly and then 2-1 to the Czech Republic in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying.

• Kolbeinn Sigthórsson scored Iceland's third goal in their 3-0 UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying victory over Turkey in Reykjavik on 9 September.

• Ajax dropped just nine points at home in the league last season, winning 13 of their 17 games and conceding just nine in the process.

• Frank de Boer became the first coach to win four successive Dutch league titles last season.


• Paris are six games unbeaten in 2014/15 having kicked off their campaign on 2 August with a 2-0 victory in the domestic Super Cup against French Cup holders EA Guingamp.

• Zoumana Camara registered on his first league start of the season on Saturday as Paris drew 1-1 with Stade Rennais FC. It was the defender's first league goal since 10 May 2011, his first in all competitions since 6 January 2013.

• Paris have won just one of their last seven away games, dating back to the start of April.

• David Luiz has not played since picking up a knee injury in Brazil's 1-0 victory over Colombia on 5 September.

• Zlatan Ibrahimović was Ligue 1 top scorer in each of the last two seasons, registering 56 times in 67 appearances in all. He leads the way again this term with seven goals in five outings.

• Ibrahimović became Sweden's highest scorer – overtaking Sven Rydell (49) – with two goals in a 2-0 win against Estonia on 3 September. He won his 100th cap five days later in a 1-1 draw in Austria.

• George Weah is Paris' club record scorer in the UEFA Champions League with 15 goals. Ibrahimović has 13 for the club.

• Paris captain Thiago Silva has not played this term after injuring his right thigh in a 2-1 victory over SSC Napoli on 11 August in a pre-season friendly.

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